Two Marion men found drowned in kayaking accident

This story was updated on May 24.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office reported that a Marion man was found dead and another is missing following an accident while they were kayaking in the Scioto River. The missing man is presumed to have also drowned.

On Monday, May 22, 2017 at 7:52pm, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Green Camp Fire Department were dispatched to the 2000 block of Prospect-Upper Sandusky Road South after a fisherman witnessed an individual in the water wearing a life jacket in the low head dam.

When fire department and sheriff’s office personnel arrived on scene they found the victim to be deceased and were able to recover both the deceased individual and a kayak. The victim was identified as 29-year-old Tyler Webb of Marion. Investigators said it appears that Webb drowned. He was wearing a life jacket, but apparently got caught in the current of the low head dam and was unable to free himself from the currents caused by the dam.

Personnel continued to search the area and found a second kayak floating on the river approximately a half mile south of the low head dam. After further investigation it was found Webb and 28-year-old Raymond Williams, also of Marion, were dropped off at approximately 4:00pm on May 22 and were both going to kayak on the Scioto River. Investigators said they believe the pair entered the water at the low head dam area and were immediately in trouble and drowned at that time.

Personnel on scene were unable to locate Williams and the search was discontinued until daylight on Tuesday, May 23. Personnel from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Green Camp Fire Department, 1st Consolidated Fire Department, Battle Run Fire Department, and Ohio ODNR Watercraft were involved in the search for Williams.

On Wednesday, May 24, 2017 shortly after 7:00am, the search resumed for Williams. At approximately 8:15am, his body was located about one mile south of the low head dam.

Sheriff Tim Bailey thanked all the agencies involved for their assistance in the search and recovery operation of both Williams and Webb and reminded everyone to practice safety when entering any area of water.

“Tragically we have had three drowning deaths in the past week in Marion County,” stated Sheriff Bailey. “As I stated yesterday, anyone entering any area of water should be an experienced swimmer, have someone with them who is also an experienced swimmer, know the body of water they are entering, and wear proper safety equipment such as life vests. Low head dams are considerably dangerous as are any dams and should be avoided. The surface of the water does not show the danger of what is beneath and this is why it is very important to know the water you are entering and practice safety every time.”

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